Three Asians make quarterfinals

21st April, Barnsley: Three Asians, Alex Liew of Malaysia, debutants Badr Al-Sheikh of Saudi Arabia and Remy Ong of Singapore, made it to the quarterfinals of the World Tenpin Masters 2007 on Day 1 at Barnsley Metrodome.

A little bit sad that the person who has thrice topped the podium has gone out in the first round. Not to take anything away from Remy Ong's performance, though. The Singaporean strung six strikes in the first game and that more or less sealed the match.

New father Torgersen has not been hitting the limelight recently but still has great tenpin talents. Unfortunately, splits in the first and second games robbed him of vital pins. But Torgersen will be back and currently Ong marches on to the quarterfinals.

Phew! Talk about the Comeback Kid earlier today, but how about the Comeback Queen? Would you give yourself a chance of victory after being 65 pins down to the 21-year-old Barrett after the first game? I'd be nuts to even think about it, but as you can see from the above scoresheet, the talented Mrs Asbaty didn't think that way and a couple of nine-spares robbed her of a place in the quarter final.

Like the proverbial lily on the pond, this world Tenpin Masters just gets bigger and better every year. This afternoon's opening match had the crowded Barnsley Metrodome audience on the edge of their seats as this match literally went pin for pin right through to the final frames.

Al-Sheikh carried just one pin forward to the second game and they both fought tooth and nail for victory. Blood, toil, tears and sweat had nothing on what they both felt as they came into the final frames and a stubborn 10-pin in the ninth frame was the undoing of Cundy. So. Al-Sheikh progressed to the quarterfinals to come up against Aussie Jason Belmonte.

Alex Liew can now officially be called the 'Comeback Kid'. Forty-one pins down in the sixth frame of the first game, he managed to out four strikes together to bring the deficit down to eight pins.

Surprisingly, the burly Canadian went seven frames without a strike whilst the lithe Malaysian leftie buried each shot in the 1-2 pocket, leaving just two 7-pins and came out of the fray with a handsome lead of seventy pins overall. Maybe they were dancing in the streets in Kuala Lumpur tonight, but there will certainly be some smiling faces at the Pyramid MegaLanes in Petaling Jaya.

Michael's father and coach, Uhlrich, was as surprised as his young son at the string of nine-spares. "It's so frustrating when you bury the ball in the pocket and don't carry all the pins," he exclaimed.

Biboy rivera is another candidate for entry into the 'Comeback Kid Club' but his entry has been black balled by Paul Moor as he put together a superb 289, the highest game of the tournament so far.

Rivera, the 2006 WTBA Men's World Championship Masters' titlist, suffered the having just one strike in his first game and emerged from that confrontation with a huge deficit to the striking Englishman with the strange nickname of 'The Persuader'.

"He should move further right on the approach," said Jason Belmonte as an enlightening co-commentator to the cool, calm and collected Simon Golding. Rivera probably did just that as he managed to string quite a lot of strikes in the second game but made no headway against Moor and now heads home, understandably a little dejected.

It was strange that Barrett lost his momentum with the change to the second game but he did admirably to hold up under the pressure of the American superstar.

Nurse - the screens! We're all shuddering, nervous wrecks after the six intense matches on the program today and none were more nail-biting than the fight for the semi-finals between Barnes and Palermaa. A 4-6 split in the tenth frame by Barnes brought the scores closer and a 2-8-10 in the eighth frame of the final game robbed the gallant Finn of any chance of victory.

Both bowlers were incredible in their accuracy, ball after ball solid in the pocket, especially from the tall American who had just that one errant shot.

Believe it or not, but the pace could get even hotter tomorrow when the other three quarterfinal matches are contested, opening with Jason Belmonte against Bader Al-Sheikh, then Alex Liew takes on Paul Moor before the finish of the afternoon's schedule with Remy Ong versus Dominic Barrett. All good stuff!

Detailed scores: Round 1 Matches | Quarterfinal Draw.

Photos courtesy of Bowlers Journal International.